Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from June, 2016

Hugo and Heidi’s Litter – Week Four

“The Coma”

There’s no question that this group is well-fed. This week, the puppies began to wean and were introduced to mush: a canine smoothie comprised of moistened puppy food, oatmeal, goat’s milk, supplements, probiotics and honey. The convention with mush when it’s introduced to a new group is that the puppies typically sniff at it, shake their heads or walk away until we dab a little on their mouths to coax them into trying it. It didn’t take long before all hands (or feet) were on deck or in the food bowl with everyone anxious to see what all the fuss was about. Mealtime goes on for quite a while because the puppies also get to enjoy dessert by helping to clean each other up. And mom is right there to deal with any spots they may have missed.

Meanwhile in the living room, the extension was added to the whelping box to give the pups more room to stagger around in or try their hand at the play station. The puppies are also enjoying some stuffed animals and engaging with us or their…

Storm and Surrey Litter – Week Five

“The Extraction”

It began as a pleasant afternoon outside with Surrey, her puppies and Heidi who was out for a little fresh air herself. It was the puppies’ first time out and they did not disappoint. Some litters are a little tentative during their inaugural outing. Many puppies will stand there and tremble for several moments while they take in the vastness of a new universe outside their whelping box. Not this crowd. They embraced it as though they’d been playing outside their entire lives! They chased their mom, chased us, climbed over top of us and played in our laps. The mood was very relaxed and we even lay out on some blankets while the puppies carried on. Suddenly it happened without warning. We did not have a protocol in place to rescue a puppy that has crawled up inside the back of one’s shirt. Miss Shimmer kept her cool and waited patiently for the extraction to be undertaken and fortunately we did not have to call the fire department for this one.

The dynamic in the whelpin…

Hugo and Heidi’s Litter – Week Three

“The Pilgrimage”

She knew the odds were slim, but she had to try. Her timing had to be just right and there hadn’t been an opportunity for a dry run. It was now or never. The whelping box had just been cleaned out and there was a single slat separating the mini-pack and their “freedom”. With a few quick steps, Miss Mulberry thrust herself up and over the “wall” into the living room. But where to now? “Oh dear” she must have thought. “I may as well just wait here until somebody comes by to lift me back in again.” And so ended Miss Mulberry’s pilgrimage mere minutes later.

The highlight for Heidi’s litter is that their eyes have opened. At this stage, the puppies have hazy vision and can only differentiate between light and dark, but this will clear up very quickly over the next week or so as they begin to experience normal sight. They are able to hear quite well as soon as their ear canals have opened. No doubt they will be spending some time trying to figure out who the heck all these o…

Storm and Surrey Litter – Week Four

“The V.I.P. Lounge”

There’s a lot that’s happened in the little world known as Surrey’s whelping box. For starters, the group has moved from the bedroom to the living room. It sounds simple enough, but Surrey needed to be convinced that no one was left behind. Before she settled in, she examined each pile of towels en route to the washing machine to ensure there wasn’t a puppy hiding in it. To Surrey’s benefit though, this venue is more like a V.I.P. lounge in that it has sofa she can relax on and access to a private section of the yard that she and fellow mom, Heidi can hang out in. Not only was there a change in venue, but an extension was added to the whelping box to double its size. Now that the puppies are growing, they need a bit more space to allow them to pick up speed as they scramble from end to end.

This week saw the introduction of the puppies to gruel or mush:  a healthy concoction of kibble, oatmeal, honey, goat’s milk and vitamins to supplement the feedings they get from …

Hugo and Heidi’s Litter – Week Two

“Hide and Go Seek”

This week, we relocated both Heidi and Surrey along with their new families to the living room. While everything was set up identically to the original venue in the bedroom, both moms had some difficulty in adjusting to their new surroundings. They simply weren’t sold on the idea. They sniffed around to make sure we had put each litter in the correct whelping box and made certain that no one was left behind. The moms also had to get adjusted to the presence of the rest of our pack, albeit from a distance. They regarded the other dogs suspiciously until everyone got settled in. On the bright side, Heidi now has the freedom to share one end of a sofa with Surrey whenever she’s in need of a well-deserved power nap. The living room is also a gateway to the puppy run outside where the group will eventually be introduced to the great outdoors. In the meantime, the moms use the space for a bit of exercise or just to hang out on a warm, sunny day.

The puppies are getting thei…

Storm and Surrey Litter – Week Three

“The Uninvited Dinner Guests”

For some of us, it’s all about food. And it was certainly no exception for Mr. Cardinal and Miss Blossom. While the rest of the pack has been content with the liquid diet provided by their mom, one day these two decided to distract Surrey long enough to dive into her dinner bowl to try to get their first taste of solid food. They were however caught in the act and will just have to wait their turn later in the week with the rest of the group for a meal that’s a bit better suited for young puppies.

While the little ones do spend a great deal of time eating and sleeping, they are also engaged in an intensive training programme. While they lay there asleep, the puppies are constantly twitching. These involuntary actions, referred to as “activated sleep”, help strengthen their leg muscles allowing them to stagger around on all fours like sailors on shore leave after last call. Since Surrey continually mounds the towels that line the floor of the whelping box, t…

Hugo and Heidi’s Litter – Week One

“Let’s Stick Together”

Heidi treated us to one of those rare daytime deliveries. In fact, she worked on the basis of a regular work day in that she started heavy contractions at 1:00 p.m. (after our lunch) and before long Mr. Granite made his debut. He was followed by Miss Chestnut, Miss Peach, Mr. Thistle, Miss Meadow, Miss Mulberry and Miss Sky who capped off the work day at 5:00 p.m. Heidi jumped right into overtime and wasted no time getting to work. Apart from nursing, her other task in the immediate was to stimulate her newborn pups to eliminate by licking them – something they are unable to do on their own at this stage.

While most Goldens have ten teats and our Bella has eleven, Heidi has been endowed with eight of which only six are functional. And those six are enormous to the point that the little newborns had extreme difficulty fitting them into their tiny mouths. Fortunately after some mouth exercises, everyone got the hang of it. We were also delighted that the group of s…

Storm and Surrey Litter – Week Two

“The Skating Rink”

Miss Surrey is a lady who knows what she wants. And what she wants at this stage of the game is to be comfortable. The whelping box is lined with soft pads and layered with plush towels to provide comfort for Surrey and her brood. This however is not to Surrey’s liking. Surrey prefers to push all the towels away into a heap so that she can lie on the smooth, cool vinyl base of the whelping box. A challenge arises here in that the fat pack (so named because they’ve managed to billow out quite nicely), must now skate along this slippery surface in order to reach mom for a snack. Since they have no traction, once they’re poised at the milk bar, the puppies virtually have to run on the spot in order to push up against mom and enjoy their meals. Surrey’s a smart girl so she may be counting on her pups getting some exercise in during their meal breaks to help them maintain their figures.

To add to the confusion, Surrey now likes to lie on her back while she sleeps. The pupp…

Storm and Surrey Litter – Week One

“Catch Me if You Can”

We’re sure Mr. Cardinal didn’t see this one coming. One minute he was nestled in the comfort of his mother’s belly and the next he was the subject of a mid-air rescue on the concrete patio outside the bedroom. After all, both Mr. Denim and Miss Shimmer who preceded him were gently deposited onto a plush and cozy king size bed. Unlike some other moms, Miss Surrey was in no hurry to deliver her litter. The norm was around an hour and a half between puppies, but fortunately she tossed in a couple of consolation prizes at thirty minutes each or so. Mr. Shine and his sister Miss Blossom were the next ones to make their appearance and then we waited and we waited. Finally Surrey decided it was time to go outside to the bathroom again, but she was mistaken about the sensation she was experiencing as Miss Plum also made her debut in mid-air halfway out of the bedroom porch door. This mom’s sure not particular as to where she drops her kids off!

Despite her dubious delivery…